Military.com: Army Street Gang Activity Is Increasing, Internal Report Shows (August 17, 2020)

‘Gangs and the Military: Gangsters, Bikers, and Terrorists with Military Training’ by Carter F. Smith (2017)

An internal report, obtained by Military.com through a Freedom of Information Act request, shows that gang members were tied to dozens of Army felony law enforcement reports and more than 100 criminal investigations in fiscal 2018, the latest year for which data is available. While these reports and investigations make up less than 1% of all Army law enforcement incidents, the new report shows that the little-discussed problem of military gang activity continues to be a headache for base commanders and other service leaders.”

Read more: Army Street Gang Activity is Increasing, Internal Report Report Shows (Military.com, August 17, 2020)

Related Links:
FY2018 Army Crime Report
Gangs in the Military: Armed and Dangerous Forces (December 23, 2010)
‘Gangs and the Military: Gangsters, Bikers, and Terrorists with Military Training’ by Carter F. Smith Released (September 15, 2017)

Military Murder Podcast Featured the Suspicious Death of Fort Campbell Army Pfc. Lavena Johnson in Balad, Iraq (July 27, 2020)

“Lavena Johnson was a smart, witty woman, born and raised in Missouri.  Her senior year of high school she decided she would join the Army in an effort to not burden her parents with out of state tuition for college.  Although Dr. Johnson (Lavena’s dad), begged her not to join the Army – she did so anyway.  She thought the Army was a good deal – you serve your country a few years and then you get 4 years of college paid! Recruiters promised her she would likely not deploy, even though in 2004 there was an uptick in deployed troops.”

Listen to Ep 40:  Did Lavena Johnson commit suicide? on the Military Murder Podcast here.

Related Links:
Ep40: Did Lavena Johnson commit suicide? | Military Murder Podcast
Non Combat Deaths of Female Service Members in the U.S. Military (Iraq)
Army Pfc. LaVena Johnson Died of Non Combat Related Injuries in Iraq; Death Ruled Suicide But Independent Investigation Revealed Rape & Murder (July 19, 2005)
‘The Silent Truth’ Documentary: The Rape, Murder & Military Cover-Up of Army Pfc. LaVena Johnson in Iraq (July 1, 2014)
The Generation Why Podcast Featured the Suspicious Death of Army Pfc. LaVena Johnson in Balad, Iraq: Was It Suicide or Murder? (November 19, 2017)
The Strange & Unexplained: ‘The Biggest Suspicious Unsolved Military Mysteries’ (August 15, 2018)
Crime Junkie Podcast Featured the Suspicious Deaths of LaVena Johnson & Tina Priest in ‘Conspiracy: Women in the US Military’ (October 22, 2018)
Seven Intriguing True Crime Podcasts Spotlighting Active Duty Military Suicide, Missing, and Murder Cases
15 Active Duty Cases That Beg for Prevention Efforts, Military Justice Reform, and the End of the Feres Doctrine
15 Movies & Documentaries That Expose the Broken Military Justice System

Senators Cruz, Gillibrand, Grassley Offer Bipartisan Military Justice Improvement Act as Amendment to Defense Bill (July 2, 2020)

Pass MJIA 2.png

Find contact information and how your Senators voted here.

Contact the SASC & HASC Members here.

Gillibrand: The Military Justice Improvement Act Would Give Service Members a Justice System That Works (July 1, 2019)

“U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and I recently announced that we will offer the bipartisan Military Justice Improvement Act as an amendment to this year’s National Defense Authorization Act. The Military Justice Improvement Act would professionalize how the military prosecutes serious crimes by moving the decision over whether to prosecute them to independent, trained, professional military prosecutors.

Despite years of Congressional reforms, thousands of service members are raped and sexually assaulted every year. In many of those cases, the assailant is someone in the survivor’s own chain of command. Only a small fraction of the perpetrators are ever held accountable for their violent crimes. Last year, the Department of Defense announced a record number of sexual assaults reported by or against service members, and yet, less than 10 percent of cases considered for command action ever proceeded to trial. Worse yet, despite repeated efforts to stamp out the scourge of retaliation against military sexual assault survivors, the most recent Pentagon survey found that 64 percent of survivors say they have experienced some form of retaliation for reporting the crime. That figure is statistically unchanged from 2016.”

Read more here.

SASC: Senate Armed Services Committee
HASC: House Armed Services Committee

Related Links:
Chair Jackie Speier NDAA Provisions Address Military Sexual Assault, Intimate Partner Violence, Racial Justice, Ethics, Military Families, and DoD Oversight and Modernization (July 2, 2020)
Sens. Cruz, Gillibrand, Grassley Offer Bipartisan Military Justice Improvement Act as Amendment to Defense Bill (July 2, 2020)
S. 1789: Military Justice Improvement Act of 2019 Reintroduced by Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York (June 13, 2019)
Senate Armed Services Committee Members & House Armed Services Committee Members (June 21, 2019)
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
15 Active Duty Cases That Beg for Prevention Efforts, Military Justice Reform, and the End of the Feres Doctrine
Washington D.C. Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (December 12, 2017)
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (January 1, 2016 to Present)
August: U.S. Department of Defense Casualties Report from September 11, 2001 to Present (August 31, 2017)
September: U.S. Department of Defense Casualties Report from September 11, 2001 to Present (September 30, 2017)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Service Members in the U.S. Military (Iraq)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Afghanistan)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Other Areas)

Federal Criminal Complaint for Cecily Ann Aguilar, U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas (July 2, 2020)

Cecily Aguilar 1Cecily Aguilar 2Cecily Aguilar 3Cecily Aguilar 4Cecily Aguilar 5

Related Links:
Federal Criminal Complaint for Cecily Ann Aguilar, U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas (July 2, 2020)

Fort Hood Army Pfc. Brandon Rosecrans Found Fatally Shot Four Miles From Burning Jeep in Harker Heights, Texas; Two Arrested & Charged (May 18, 2020)

Brandon Rosecrans

Pfc. Brandon Rosecrans, U.S. Army

Fort Hood Army Pfc. Brandon Scott Rosecrans, 27, of Kimberling City, Missouri, was found dead on the southern edge of Harker Heights, Texas on May 18, 2020. Brandon Rosecrans’ was a shooting victim and his body was found along Fuller Lane just north of the western end of Stillhouse Hollow Lake. His orange-colored 2016 Jeep Renegade was discovered on fire about four miles from his body. The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Harker Heights Fire Marshal. Pfc. Rosecrans served as a quartermaster and chemical equipment repairer with the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division since November 2018. Pfc. Rosecrans enlisted in the Army in May 2018.

Harker Heights, Texas, Police Chief Phillip Gadd reported that following a preliminary investigation, they’ve determined that Brandon Rosecrans died from a gunshot wound and that his death was being investigated as a murder. The murder and arson investigations are being run concurrently by the Harker Height’s police and fire departments and the U.S. Army CID. According to the Army CID, the Harker Heights Police Department is the lead investigative agency for Brandon Rosecrans’ death. Anyone with information, “no matter how insignificant it may seem,” is asked to come forward and contact Army CID, the military police or their local law enforcement agency.

“The Harker Heights Police Criminal Investigation Division is asking anyone with information about this murder to contact them at 254-953-5400. Individuals may also provide information to Crime Stoppers at 254-526-TIPS (8477) or go online at www.bellcountycrimestoppers.com. All information is confidential and anonymous and if your tip leads to the arrest of the person(s) responsible, you could be eligible to receive a reward up to $1,000 in cash.” -Harker Heights PD Press Release (May 19, 2020)

On August 5th, 2020, Brandon Olivares was charged with the murder of Brandon Rosecrans. Estrellia “Star” Falcon was charged with using Rosecran’s Jeep & hindering prosecution. See media updates and affidavit below.

In the News:

Man found dead in Harker Heights identified as Fort Hood soldier Pfc. Brandon Rosecrans -KWKT FOX44 (May 20, 2020)

Digital First Video: Parents of Brandon Rosecrans -KOLR10 News (May 28, 2020)

Army Pfc. Brandon Rosecrans’ Funeral in Kimberling City

Pfc. Brandon Rosecrans Funeral -KOLR10 News (June 2, 2020)

His vehicle was found on fire 15 mins after he was found about 4 miles away. Let help get brandon justice. His reward is only 1000 it needs upped. Also his service if you want to pay your respect and watch. -A thin line between Love and homicide (June 29, 2020)

Pfc. Brandon Rosecrans was found dead near his burning Jeep a short drive from the base, killed by a gunshot wound. Police and Army investigators are now investigating the death as a possible murder. -Military Times (July 1, 2020)

Brandon Michael Olivares was charged with the murder of Brandon Rosecrans and had a bond set at $1 million. -KCEN News (August 6, 2020)

A Killeen couple is in jail after Pfc. Brandon Rosecrans, a 27-year-old Fort Hood soldier, was murdered in May. KTBC FOX 7 Austin (August 19, 2020)

Press Releases:

FHPC Brandon Rosecrans

Fort Hood Press Center Press Release for Pfc. Brandon Rosecrans (Editor’s Note: Fort Hood will delete this press release, hence the reason it’s been preserved)

HH PR Brandon Rosecrans

Harker Heights Police Department Press Release for Brandon Rosecrans

Brandon Rosecrans Fort Hood

Affidavit for Brandon Olivares (August 5, 2020)

Related Links:
Death of a Fort Hood Soldier (Fort Hood Press Center)
Harker Heights Police Department – Posts | Facebook
Police identify shooting victim found dead along local road
Man found dead in Harker Heights identified as Fort Hood soldier
Fort Hood soldier found shot dead near burning Jeep
Fort Hood soldier found shot in the head inside burning car, police say
Man found dead in Harker Heights identified as Fort Hood soldier
Man found dead in Harker Heights identified as Fort Hood soldier
Man killed in Harker Heights Monday identified as Fort Hood soldier
Fort Hood soldier found shot dead miles from his vehicle burning near Texas base
Fort Hood soldier found shot to death two minutes after car found engulfed in flames
Fort Hood soldier found shot to death and vehicle burned identified by US Army
Soldier from Kimberling City killed in Texas shooting
Video: Fort Hood soldier’s death investigated as a homicide
Fort Hood soldier found shot to death and vehicle burned identified by US Army
Harker Heights police investigating shooting death of Fort Hood soldier as murder
Texas authorities investigating death of soldier from Kimberling City, Mo.
Parents of Kimberling City soldier open up about their son’s murder, legacy
Ep31. MISSING x2: Missing in Fort Hood (Vanessa Guillen & Gregory Morales) | Military Murder Podcast
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (January 1, 2016 to Present)
The Murder of Vanessa Guillen and the Unsolved Homicides of Fort Hood
What Is Happening At Fort Hood? – Missing People In America
Man found dead in Harker Heights identified as Fort Hood soldier
Soldiers Funeral in Kimberling City
Fort Hood Soldier’s death investigated as a homicide
Digital First Video: Parents of Brandon Rosecrans
Pfc. Brandon Rosecrans Funeral | KOLR10 News
PFC Brandon Scott Rosecrans found shot on the side of the road shot
Man arrested for murder of Fort Hood soldier who was found dead on the side of the road
Cell phone pings, neighborhood videos, burned Jeep key used to catch Fort Hood soldier’s killer, affidavit says
Texas man shot Fort Hood soldier over gun sale dispute and local woman helped afterward, affidavits say
Slain soldier was shot 4 times at close range, affidavit says
Slain soldier was shot 4 times at close range, perhaps while asleep, affidavit says
Killeen couple had roles in killing, dumping body of Fort Hood soldier, affidavits say
Murder suspect tried to blame others for death of Ft. Hood soldier, police say
Police: Murder suspect tried to blame others for death of Ft. Hood soldier

Unsolved Homicide: Fort Hood Army Spc. Shelby Jones Died of Gunshot Wound at Mickey’s Convenience Store in Killeen, Texas; Shot at Nearby Night Club (March 1, 2020)

Shelby Tyler Jones Army

Spc. Shelby Jones, U.S. Army

Fort Hood Army Spc. Shelby Tyler Jones, 20, was shot at a night club near the post and discovered dead about a half a mile away at Mickey’s Convenience Store in Killeen, Texas in the early morning hours of March 1, 2020. According to a press release issued by the Killeen Police Department, officers immediately began performing life-saving measures while they waited for emergency medical services to arrive. Shelby Jones succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene by Justice of the Peace Daryl Peters. Peters ordered an autopsy to be performed at the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas, Texas. During the Killeen PD investigation, they determined the shooting happened about 40 minutes earlier at Club Dreams. Police are still searching for the shooter, but they said they are investigating Jones’ death as a homicide.

Shelby Jones served in the U.S. Army for almost three years. He and his wife resided in Temple, Texas, while he served at nearby Ft. Hood. He is survived by his wife, parents, and two siblings. According to a Fort Hood press release, Spc. Jones is from Jena, Louisiana and entered the Army after high school in May 2017 as a cavalry scout. He joined Fort Hood’s 3rd Cavalry Regiment in August 2018 and deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve from May 2018 to January 2019. Homicide detectives determined that Jones was shot at Club Dreams on S. Fort Hood Street and are asking anyone who was at the club that night and may have seen anything or have information to contact Detective Uvalle at 254-501-8854 or the Bell County Crime Stoppers at 254-526-TIPS (8477).

“We are asking anyone who may have seen anything or has information about this murder, to contact Crime Stoppers at 254-526-TIPS (8477) or go online at http://www.bellcountycrimestoppers.com. You can also download the P3Tips App for IOS or Android and give an anonymous tip. All information is confidential and anonymous and if your tip leads to the arrest of the person(s) responsible, you could be eligible to receive a reward up to $1,000 in cash.” –Killeen PD Press Release

Press Releases:

Shelby Jones KPD PR

Killeen Police Department Press Release for Shelby Jones (March 1, 2020)

Shelby Tyler Jones Hood PR

Fort Hood Press Release for Death of Shelby Tyler Jones (screenshot of press release because Fort Hood will delete this)

Related Links:
Obituary: Shelby Jones
Killeen Police Investigate a Murder
Death of a Fort Hood Soldier – Fort Hood Press Center
KPD investigating early morning homicide
20-Year-Old Dead in Killeen Shooting
20-Year-Old Dead in Killeen Shooting
Killeen homicide stemmed from shooting at nightclub
Killeen Man Gunned Down at Convenience Store on S. Ft. Hood Road
Fort Hood soldier killed at a Texas strip club
Fort Hood soldier shot at Killeen strip club, later died
Brave Rifles soldier was shot at strip club before his death
Recent homicide victim was Army soldier, Fort Hood officials say
Recent homicide victim was Army soldier, Fort Hood officials say
Killeen: Man found dead at convenience store was shot at strip club
Recent homicide victim was Army soldier, Fort Hood officials say
Recent homicide victim was Army soldier, Fort Hood officials say
Man shot to death at night club in Killeen found at convenience store, police looking for suspect
Fort Hood soldier one of three victims found shot dead at Texas apartment
Killeen police investigating shooting death in southwest Killeen
Killeen Police seek information following deadly shooting
KPD Homicide Unit Seeks Your Help with Murder Investigation
Fort Hood Soldier’s murder brings unsolved cases to light
Fort Hood soldier’s murder brings unsolved cases to forefront
The Murder of Vanessa Guillen and the Unsolved Homicides of Fort Hood
What Is Happening At Fort Hood? – Missing People In America
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (January 1, 2016 to Present)

Murderific True Crime Podcast Featured the Military Murder of Army Spc. Kamisha Block in Baghdad, Iraq (December 8, 2019)

Kamisha Block Murderific Podcast

Clear here for Shonta Block’s call for action.

TWITTER: Shonta Block @ShontaBlock
FACEBOOK: Corruption without justice in the military
JUSTICE: Reasons why the Block family want congressional hearings
PETITION: Justice for Kamisha Block commanding officers are not above the law.
SENATORS: Contact your two Senators here (top left has drop down for state)
REPRESENTATIVE: Contact your Representative here (enter zip code)
SASC/HASC MEMBERS: Click here to contact the SASC/HASC members
OTHER CASES: 15 Active Duty Cases That Beg for Prevention Efforts, Military Justice Reform, and the End of the Feres Doctrine

“In August of 2007, Kamisha Block was killed by friendly fire while serving in Iraq – or that was what her family was told. Her family uncovered several lies by the U.S. Army and ultimately learned that Kamisha was murdered. Why did the military lie to the Block family? This is a story about domestic abuse, murder, a military cover-up, and the relentless pursuit of justice by the Block family.” –Kamisha Block, Murderific True Crime Podcast (December 8, 2019)

UPDATE: Army reopens case of 2007 murder-suicide that was originally called ‘friendly fire’ (Stars and Stripes, April 19, 2019)

Related Links:
DoD Identifies Army Casualties
Murderific True Crime Podcast (website)
Murderific True Crime Podcast (Twitter)
Kamisha Block | Murderific Podcast | Shonta Block Facebook Post
Kamisha Block | Murderific True Crime Podcast | website
Kamisha Block | Murderific True Crime Podcast | Stitcher
Kamisha Block | Murderific True Crime Podcast | PlayerFM
Kamisha Block | Murderific True Crime Podcast | PodBean
Kamisha Block | Murderific True Crime Podcast | Podbay
Kamisha Block | Murderific True Crime Podcast | Spotify
Army Staff Sgt. Paul Norris Fatally Shot Spc. Kamisha Block in Murder-Suicide in Iraq; Family Requests Congressional Hearings & Investigation of Military Leadership (2007)
Forbidden, Dying for Love Premiered ‘Love is a Battlefield’ on Investigation Discovery: Army Spc. Kamisha Block Died in Murder-Suicide in Iraq (March 13, 2018)
Crimelines True Crime Podcast Featured the Military Murder of Army Spc. Kamisha Block in Baghdad, Iraq (October 20, 2019)
Love is a Battlefield | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (S3, E1)
Love is a Battlefield | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (website)
Love is a Battlefield | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Forbidden, Dying for Love: Six Active-Duty Military Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery
Non Combat Deaths of Female Service Members in the U.S. Military (Iraq)

Snapped Premiered ‘Hazelynn Stomps’ on Oxygen: Army Veteran Jerry Stomps Remains Found in Garbage Can on Oregon Property (November 17, 2019)

After a woman reports that she and her husband were attacked by a pair of assailants, authorities in Oregon launch an investigation into the crime and unravel a complex scheme. -Hazelynn Stomps, Snapped (S26,E13)

Related Links:
Gerald Ervin “Jerry” Stomps
Hazelynn Stomps | Snapped | Oxygen (S26,E13)
Hazelynn Stomps | Snapped | Oxygen (Prime Video)
Oregon woman wanted for killing husband found dead
Witness in Corbett woman’s murder trial commits suicide
Broken pelvis foiled plan by Hazelynn Stomps, prosecutor says
Stomps found guilty of 2009 murder of husband
Jury finds Hazelynn Stomps guilty in death of her husband, Jerry Stomps
Family members beg Hazelynn Stomps to tell the truth, condemn her for killing Jerry Stomps at her sentencing
Hazelynn Stomps to serve 25 years to life in prison for murdering husband
Son to killer Stomps: ‘You are a monster’
Episode 10: Where Is Jerry? | Murder in the Rain Podcast
10 Disturbingly Sneaky Female Murderers Who Nearly Got Away

The Object of Murder Premiered ‘Beauty for Ashes’ on Investigation Discovery: Air Force Veteran Tricia Todd Vanishes in Florida (November 7, 2019)

In 2016, 33-year-old Tricia Todd was reported missing after failing to pick up her daughter from a babysitter. As her family hoped and prayed, investigators found her online journal that revealed the true horror of what had happened. -Beauty for Ashes, The Object of Murder (S1,E1)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
Murdered Woman’s Journal Helps Catch Her Killer (Part 1)
Murdered Woman’s Journal Helps Catch Her Killer (Part 2)
Murdered Woman’s Diary Helps Catch Her Killer (Pt 1)
Murdered Woman’s Diary Helps Catch Her Killer (Pt 2)
How her journal helped solve her own murder
Beauty for Ashes | The Object of Murder | Investigation Discovery (S1,E1)
Beauty for Ashes | The Object of Murder | Investigation Discovery (website)
Beauty for Ashes | The Object of Murder | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Air Force Veteran Tricia Todd Vanished in Florida; Air Force SSgt Steven Williams Pleaded No Contest to Murder, Sentenced to 35 Years in Prison (April 26, 2016)

Snapped Premiered ‘Valerie Nessler’ on Oxygen: Coast Guard Veteran Jeff Wheatley Murdered in Case of Mistaken Revenge (November 3, 2019)

When a deadly rumor is stirred up among friends and acquaintances, it sets off an explosion of brutal violence so gruesome that not even a house fire can hide the truth. Who could have wanted Jeffrey Wheatley dead, and what was his roomate hiding? -Valerie Nessler, Snapped (October 31, 2019)

Wendy Fishburn, sister of Jeff Wheatley, says she “absolutely does not believe in closure” in regard to her brother’s murder. In 2010, Wheatley was shot, stabbed and set on fire after a man named Robert Turner became falsely convinced Wheatley had killed his older brother more than a decade prior. -Valerie Nessler, Snapped (November 4, 2019)

Related Links:
Valerie Nessler | Snapped – Oxygen
Man Shot, Stabbed And Set On Fire In A Drug-Fueled Case Of Mistaken Revenge
Coast Guard Veteran Jeffrey Wheatley Found Dead in House Fire; Valerie Nessler, Robert Turner & Allen Periman Found Guilty of Murder (April 7, 2010)
A Stranger in My Home Premiered ‘Roommate From Hell’ on ID: Jeffrey Wheatley Found Murdered in House Fire Because False Accusations (December 15, 2013)
A Stranger in My Home: 5 Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery
The Gruesome Murder of Jefferey Wheatley Shocks Investigators | Snapped Sneak Peek
Jeff Wheatley’s Brutal Stockton Murder Was A Case Of Mistaken Revenge | Snapped Bonus
Valerie Nessler | Snapped | Oxygen (S26,E11)